Indigenous Knowledge Bill in the Pipeline

Department of Science and Technology

The science and technology department has expressed the hope that the Draft Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill will be tabled in parliament soon.

The department published the draft bill for comment in March 2015.

In a statement issued following the Indigenous Knowledge System Expo in Bloemfontein, the department highlighted the benefits that would flow from the draft bill.

The proposed legislation aims to provide for:

• the protection, promotion, development and management of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS);
• the setting up and functions of the national indigenous knowledge systems office;
• the management of rights of indigenous knowledge holders;
• the setting up of the advisory panel on IKS;
• access and conditions of access to knowledge contained in indigenous communities;
• the registration, accreditation and certification of indigenous knowledge holders and practitioners; and
• the facilitation and coordination of indigenous knowledge systems-based innovation.

In a statement last year, the department emphasised that the draft bill sought to protect, promote, develop and manage IKS by means of sui generis legislation.

Stakeholders at the Expo also called for greater protection for indigenous knowledge.

The department declared that the proposed legislation is expected to “pave the way for the protection of the vast treasure of South Africa's indigenous knowledge, including local products like the well-known honeybush tea”.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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